The best smart thermostat 2021 | immoral

Cupertino, March 11, 2021

Ecobee SmartThermostatSource: Christopher Close / iMore

The best
Smart thermostat

With a smart thermostat, especially one that is equipped with HomeKit, you can easily control the temperature in your home, from almost anywhere, even with your voice. You can even configure things like scenes and automation, making your life even more light and giving you comfort without thinking again. We believe that the best smart thermostat you can get is the Ecobee SmartThermostat, because it works with both HomeKit and Alexa and is the easiest to set up and use.

Best general: Ecobee SmartThermostat

Ecobee SmartThermostat Side

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Ecobee SmartThermostat is the best smart thermostat for anyone who wants to control their home environment using a voice assistant. With the Ecobee smart thermostat with Alexa function, you get all the magic of HomeKit plus the built-in Alexa voice control. Even better, thanks to the built-in speaker and microphone configuration, Alexa is as powerful on the Ecobee SmartThermostat as Amazon Echo products.

Ask Alexa to set a timer, adjust the lighting, take your steps to a recipe, play some jazz. You can do everything right from your smart thermostat. You can also, of course, use Alexa to adjust the temperature in your home, but this is just a tiny detail. It comes with built-in microphones that feature remote field voice recognition (the same technology that makes the Amazon Echo hear you from all over the room) and a speaker that makes Alexa sound loud and clear, despite coming from a fixed thermostat on the wall.

With HomeKit compatibility, you get full support for Siri control, including the ability to change the temperature with your voice and trigger more complex actions with scenes using the best iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. This device also supports IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Alexa, Google Assistant and many other integrations.


  • Built-in Alexa control
  • Full control of Siri and HomeKit
  • Remote sensor compatibility


  • Expensive
  • No local control of the application
  • Not for people interested in privacy

The best general

Ecobee Smart Thermostat Render cut

Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control

Complete features

The Ecobee SmartThermostat includes a remote sensor that reports temperatures around your home and not just one location.

Best for small locations: Ecobee3 Lite

Ecobee 3 Lite Lifestyle

Source: ecobee

Ecobee 3 Lite is more or less an intelligent Ecobee thermostat without room sensors. It has all the same great features, including HomeKit compatibility and Siri control; is limited to the area where you install the main unit in the box. However, you can buy remote sensors separately to see the temperature in other areas of the house if you choose to expand later.

The main differences between it and the Ecobee 4 are the lack of an integrated Amazon Alexa speaker, camera sensor and occupancy detection. The Ecobee 3 Lite is also slightly smaller than the newer model, but is not compatible with so many heating / cooling systems.


  • Low cost
  • Compatibility
  • Easy installation


  • Camera sensors are not included
  • Incompatible with certain equipment
  • No job detection

Best for small locations

Ecobee 3 Lite Render Cropped

Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat

Smaller, but capable

If you have a small house or just don't feel the need for additional sensors in other rooms, go with Ecobee 3 Lite.

The best alternative: the Nest Learning thermostat

Nest Learning thermostat

Source: Nest

The Nest Learning thermostat remains a popular choice, even if it is not one of the newest smart thermostats on the block. With a similar HAL dial that still looks futuristic, the Nest device is largely simple to use and works great with the Nest app for iOS. It also supports the Works with Nest program, which offers integrations with dozens of other smart home products, including home security systems, cameras, locks and more.

By definition, Nest Learning Thermostat takes the temperatures you want, then builds a program that you think will suit you. By doing so, you will be more comfortable in your home, while saving on heating and cooling bills. As part of its learning, the thermostat also adapts to the changing seasons in your area.


  • Compatible with 95% of HVAC systems
  • Multiple color options
  • High quality materials


  • Expensive
  • Learning functions may not work for everyone
  • Limited integrations

The best alternative

Silver nest thermostat showing active heating on white background

Nest T3007ES learning thermostat

Alternative solution

The Nest Learning thermostat is a great alternative if you don't need a HomeKit and have other Nest products in your home.

Best value: Honeywell Lyric T5

Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat

Source: Honeywell

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a high quality smart thermostat. Honeywell Lyric T5 offers most of the features of the more expensive options, but for less money. The main disadvantage of this lower cost: a design that seems a little dated, even if it has all the smart goodies. Beyond that, you'll continue to experience voice control, programming, smart alerts, and more through integrations with HomeKit and Alexa.


  • Smart alert
  • Price (look for discounts)
  • Flexible programming options


  • No humidity and motion sensors
  • Requires C-Wire
  • Pretty dated design

Best Price

Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat

Honeywell Home Lyric T5 smart thermostat

Cost efficient

Despite its dated design, the Honeywell Lyric T5 offers flexible programming, HomeKit and location-based temperature control.

Best without problems: Google Nest Thermostat E

Nest E thermostat lifestyle

Source: Nest

Nest Thermostat E, like its more expensive sibling, learns as you use it, creating an automatic program for heating and cooling. It also works with voice assistants and offers most sensors like the Nest Learning thermostat. Of course, the metal case and color options are missing, for which Nest is famous. However, the real disadvantage is that not as many HVAC systems work as the learning thermostat, with 85% compatibility.


  • Cheaper than the learning thermostat
  • Works with "most" heating and cooling settings
  • Completely presented


  • No color options
  • Basic design
  • Learning functions may not be suitable for everyone

The best without problems

The nest thermostat is white on a white background

Google Nest Thermostat E - Smart programmable home thermostat

Almost as good for less

The design of the Nest Thermostat E does not mean you have to settle for less. This thermostat includes almost all the surrounding features.

Best screen: Emerson Sensi Touch

Emerson Sensi Touch in white in a living room

Source: Emerson

The Senserson Touch thermostat from Emerson has a large widescreen touch screen, which makes it easy to make adjustments to the device itself. Speaking of changes, the Sensi Touch has shortcuts to access standard functions, such as turning on the home fan only, directly from the home screen.

This thermostat also includes a backlight option that illuminates the surrounding area at night, preventing it from illuminating your room with a huge display. This backlight is also handy for the installation process as it illuminates the wiring terminals, giving you a better look at where your wires are going.


  • Huge screen
  • Compatibility
  • Two-color options


  • Camera sensors are not included
  • Incompatible with certain equipment
  • No job detection

The best screen

Emerson Sensi Touch in white

Emerson Sensi Touch smart Wi-Fi thermostat with color display on the touch screen

Wide screen

Senserson Touch from Emerson has a large, beautiful touch screen, smart features and a handy backlight to locate it at night.

Comfort and control with the best smart thermostats

Having the best smart thermostat in the house offers comfort and control, all while saving some money in the process. For some, the thermostat is not always in the most accessible location - here comes the voice control of the application. Changing the temperature in your home from the comfort of your couch or bed is more than worth the cost of admission, and the programming features are the icing on the cake.

For most people, the Ecobee SmartThermostat is the best smart thermostat around. The Ecobee SmartThermostat is fully equipped and is aimed at people who are all-in on Apple with other great HomeKit accessories or even those who prefer Alexa control. Over time, you can expand your Ecobee SmartThermostat by adding additional camera sensors. Ultimately, your decision should come down to how much you want to control the temperature in your home and where.

The team that worked on this guide

Author: Christopher Close

Christopher Close is the smart home resident expert iMore. It frequently tests all smart home accessories, such as smart thermostats, as well as anything else with HomeKit integration.


Bryan M Wolfe is a father who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. A Penn State graduate, Bryan is also a big fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe

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